Overview of the CU Tri Team in 2001
By Bettina Younge, CU Triathlon Team Coach
ISSUE #10, April/May 2001 – After another successful season in 2000 with their fifth consecutive win at Wildflower, the CU triathletes are again preparing for Nationals. The CU Triathlon Team continues to grow and this year 77 Buffaloes will be competing in the 2001 Collegiate Championships! With a cap of about 500 entrants in the race, the yellow uniform of the Buffs should be hard to miss. There will be a number of familiar faces around, though all of the top finishers from last year have graduated or, to the relief of their competitors, will be reckoning with exams instead – once again, Nationals is falling during finals week…
Yet, the men’s team promises to be as strong as ever. Ryan Ignatz will lead the fairly young group as the top returning Buff from last year. Backing him up will be returning members Kai Costanzo, Andy Feeney, Armando Galarraga, Keith Jackson, Lucas Llado, and Tim Smith, and new members Bill Baker, Blake Ottersberg, and Lance Panigutti. As members of the Junior National Team, Blake and Lance will also be competing in St. Petersberg at the Worlds Qualifier one week before Collegiate Nationals. (They promised that they’d have the entire Junior National Team in Buff uniform by next year…)
The women’s team is rebuilding this year – led by returning members Kerrie Wlad and Erin Huck; Farleigh Fitzgerald, Susan Einberger and Pam Tracy hope to improve their times from previous years, while new members Amber Hofsted, Molly Rusch, and Megan Clute will make their race debut. Erin also hopes to qualify for the Junior Elite Squad for Worlds in St. Petersburg the week before the Collegiate Championships.
The Collegiate National Championships will take place at Wildflower on May 6. This year a record number of collegiate triathletes will be fighting over the individual and team championships. In the last couple of years, CU’s Buffs won both the men’s and women’s title in 1999 (Nick Cady and Teri Duthie), then again the women’s title in 2000 (Elizabeth Anderson). All three athletes have gone on to become pros – you could find Elizabeth prominently displayed on the cover of Inside Triathlon in January 2000. The winning team is determined by the top 3 male and top 3 female finishing times – the team with the lowest sum of those six times is the National Champion. CU has claimed that title for the last 5 consecutive years!
In preparation for Nationals, the athletes train with the team six days a week, then supplement the team sessions with their individual workouts. The team workouts consist of swims on Monday (technique, drills, and open water simulations), and Wednesday (endurance and speed); runs on Tuesday (track workouts) and Sunday (long runs); and rides on Thursday (intervals) and Sunday (endurance). Trying to make everything fit in with their usual course load of 15 credit hours is often a challenge, but they are committed – not often do you see 35 students running (in snow) at the track at 7am! Because many members have also never done a triathlon, we have planned several practice triathlons building up to Olympic Distance three weeks prior to Wildflower; some Buffs will be at the Hoff & Leigh Winter Triathlon in Colorado Springs, others will go down to Mexico for the Rocky Point Triathlon.
One of the remaining biggest challenges has been raising enough money to make the trip to Nationals affordable for everyone. (Because Wildflower is during finals week, the entire team has to fly.) We would like to specifically thank our sponsors for their support of the CU Triathlon Team: the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, Louisville Cyclery, PowerBar, Runners Choice, Rudy Project, Mickey C’s Bagels, Total Trainer, and Atlas Snowshoes.